Voralpen Express Swiss Railway

The Voralpen-Express

The Voralpen-Express (VAE, Pre-Alpine Express) is a named train connecting Lucerne and St. Gallen, two medium-sized cities in central and eastern Switzerland. It is a featured train on our Echo Trails 12-day Grand Rail Tour.

This 2 hour plus train ride in newly designed first class cars, provides visitors with scenic pre-alpine Swiss, hillside, pastures, farms, villages, cities views.

What’s new is the Voralpen-Express is one of the first trains to operate the Stadler electric low-floor Traverso train. The long-distance trains reflect the current development status of the FLIRT vehicle line (Fast Light Intercity- and Regional Train). The completely new motor bogies and other optimised carrying bogies represent the technical highlights of this new fleet of cars.

Once in St. Gallen, we visit this “Out of this world” UNESCO Abbey Library that symbolizes the development of European knowledge.

The library collection is the oldest in Switzerland, and one of earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world. The library holds almost 160,000 volumes, with most available for public use. In addition to older printed books, the collection includes 1650 incunabula (books printed before 1500), and 2100 manuscripts dating back to the 8th through 15th centuries; among the most notable of the latter are items of Irish, Carolingian, and Ottonian production.

A library of immense beauty, the baroque woodwork is unbelievable. It has the unity of being of one period, giving a blend of complexity and simplicity. A not to be missed attraction.

Which section of Voralpen Express route is best?

While the entire route is very scenic, we think the section between Lucerne and Arth-Goldau is prettiest if you’re looking for lakes and mountain scenery. On the other hand, if you want a change of scenery after spending time in the mountainous regions of Switzerland, the lowlands around Rapperswil and Lake Zurich, along with the viaducts close to St. Gallen, can’t be beat.

Our 12 day Swiss Alps Grand Train Tour includes 11 of the world’s most legendary trains, including the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Voralpen Express, GoldenPass Line and the Furka Steam Train.

View Voralpen Express on Wikipedia.